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2012 1.4T bucking/stalling with WOT

150 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Myersnol1
Good evening friends and what a pleasure it is to be here!

I recently bought a 2nd hand 2012 Cruze and i love the car. Great gas mileage but the lack of bluetooth capabilities is kind of a bummer especially since it works for phone calls but not music… anywho

shortly after i got her, the CEL came on for the thermostat. Replaced the thermostat and while i was at it i decided to replace the valve cover gasket as well. The old one leaked a little bit and it was easy enough. Fixed that then got another CEL which wound up being fixed by a new MAF. Replaced that and the codes cleared themselves again.

not long after, i tried to pass someone on a 55 mph road (driver going way to slow) but right around the 4k-4500k rpm ranged it started bucking and stalling really bad. When it did hold the rpms steady it felt like it had no power. I looked pretty dumb as i tried to pass the slow driver then had to bail and get back behind them.

Just for giggles, I figured i would replace the plugs and coils. Didn’t help at all. I went to test her out, it did the same thing only this time after a few seconds of bucking, the CEL light came back on. BUT. Once the CEL came back on, it ran better than it ever has. Plenty of power and rode the rpms all the way up to the red line with no issue. My guess is it bypassed a certain something and ran on some sort of closed loop system rather than an open loop system. Or something similar to that. A few days later the car turned off the CEL on its own and then ran like ass again. It wasn’t until after the CEL went out that i scanned it and the only code i found was the p1101. (Description: “actual measured airflow from MAF”)

Just a little more info. When i first bought the car i floored it a few times and it did just fine. Car is a daily so it doesn’t sit much. it wasn’t until after the thermostat, valve cover gasket and MAF replacement that it started this stalling/bucking non sense.

Listed above are the only parts I’ve replaced since I’ve had the car. As far as i can tell with my limited amount of research, the fuel injectors seemed like the most common culprit. Except, it ran great after the CEL came on… so now that doesn’t make too much sense. it seems like that would narrow it down quite a bit that it runs great with the CEL light on but I’m kinda lost on this one…

has anyone encountered this before? What do i need to do to get this fixed? If anyone has questions that could help narrow it down please feel free to comment or message me. I’m a pretty capable mechanic so i should be able to keep up with ya.

Thank you all in advance for the help and time friends. I really hope I’m not the first one to experience this…
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What brand was the MAF? A lot of 3rd party stuff is junk and that's the kind of problems you can have with it. I'd try a genuine, not counterfeit MAF. Also make sure you haven't made changes that upsets the airflow past the MAF.
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Well, i got the MAF at autozone. Not my preferred choice but i believe it was on a weekend when all the better options were closed. Should this be an online buy or dealership? As far as i can tell i made no other changes that could possibly affect air flow. But that being said, who knows what was done before hand. If what you say is the issue, it seems like that would make a lot more sense as to why when the CEL is on, it runs much better. Basically it’s disregarding the MAF reading. now that i mention it, I’m not sure if i noticed this issue before or after i replaces the MAF. Anyone know of any troubleshooting i could do to pin point? I have a respectable scan tool that can pull up lots of drive train parameters but tbh I wouldn’t know where to start and what to look for. I feel like i would have to look at live readings to troubleshoot this particular issue. Thanks for the reply!!
After the engine is fully warmed up, read the MAF. Then post the reading. Also, turn off everything, even the running lights.

Autozone MAFs are junk, many people here have proven that. You NEED an OEM sensor.

If you unplug your MAF, and the car runs better, the sensor is bad.
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I imagine you can buy this either online or at a dealer. Just make sure it's a reputable place and the right brand. (AC/Delco).

I'm not sure what to look for on the scanner. It might be hard to spot if it's only just enough off to set codes.

What was wrong with the old MAF? Do you still have it? It might be worth putting back just to see what happens.

As for mods, I'd be on the lookout for aftermarket intakes. It might be worth a look to make sure something strange isn't stuck in the intake. All it takes is for something to change the way the air flows so that its point-source reading isn't accurate.
so the old MAF was throwing codes for humidity and temp issues. Apparently those sensors are built into the MAF. I don’t remember the exact codes but i couldn’t clear them. Once I replaced the MAF, they all cleared themselves. One thing I have not done is look at the air filter. Probably wouldn’t hurt to change but that still wouldn’t explain why it ran fine with the CEL on. Next time I get a chance I’ll hook up the scanner and post all the readings I can. Starting to sound like an ass hat MAF. freggin autozone…
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